Session 1 - Molecules and Memory




Session 3 - Landscapes and Learning

Session 2 - Nerves and Narratives




Session 4 - Substance and Sociality

Session 1 - Molecules and Memory - Marije Vogelzang, Charles Spence and David Sutton

How does the brain and culture work together to create the huge impact taste has on memory, and the other way around? Surely, taste cannot be understood as a simple meeting point between food stuff and taste receptors. The ways we experience taste are both universal, individual and cultural. But how do these different aspects; brain, culture, physics of taste relate to one another?

To facilitate the dialogue on the subject, we invited eating designer, Marije Vogelzang, to be the creative mediator, and professor of experimental physics, Charles Spence, and professor of anthropology, David Sutton, to be the experts. 







Photo: Julia Toth
Photo: Kurt Thomsen
Photo: Julia Toth
Photo: Julia Toth
Photo: Julia Toth
Photo: Kurt Thomsen

Marije Vogelzang

Eating designer and artist Marije Vogelzang is known for her creative ways of using food experiments and art to challenge the way we feel and interact.

Focusing on the verb “eating” rather than food in itself, Vogelzang explores rituals, cultural behaviour and the manufacturing of food to pinpoint how food is not only something we consume but something that connects us.

David Sutton

Anthropologist David Sutton is known for his research on the senses, memory and how historical consciousness influence daily life. Sutton has explored everyday cooking practices on Kalymnos in Greece.

Focusing on the cooking techniques and habits in the home kitchens of Kalymnians, Sutton says that these micro-practises are used to evoke personal and collective memory and reflects the Greek financial crisis.

Charles Spence

Professor of experimental psychology, Charles Spence is known for his research of how the senses influence multisensory experiences of everyday life. With a focus on synesthetic experience he says that sound influences how we taste. His research creates foundations for developing a better design of food products and environments.

With his experimental methods and over 500 published scientific articles he has been awarded prizes such as the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany and the IG Nobel prize for nutrition.

Session 2 - Nerves and Narratives - Mark Schatzker, David Howes and Gordon Shepherd

Storytelling has become a buzzword when it comes to selling. A beer is meaningless unless there is a good yarn about some local bearded chap and his dog. So, how is our brain affected around those stories of taste? And how do we produce cultural narratives on taste? What impact has the way of telling a story on our taste? And finally, how is taste and nutrition connected? 

To facilitate the dialogue on the subject, we invited food journalist and author, Mark Schatzker, to be the creative mediator, and professor of anthropology, David Howes, and professor of neuroscience, Gordon Shepherd, to be the experts. 



Photo: Eva Rymann
Photo: Kurt Thomsen
Photo: Eva Rymann
Photo: Eva Rymann
Photo: Kurt Thomsen
Photo: Kurt Thomsen
Photo: Kurt Thomsen
Photo: Eva Rymann
Photo: Kurt Thomsen

Gordon Shepherd

Professor of Neuro-Science Gordon Shepherd is known for his book ”Neurogastronomy” in which he proposes a new view on the human brain flavour system. Especially he enhances how smell is connected to taste and how flavour impact social, behavioural and medical issues.

Connecting perception of flavour with the brain centres controlling emotions and cravings, he draws a line between brain processes and health related matters such as addiction, dieting and obesity.

David Howes

Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director of the Centre for Sensory Studies at Concordia University in Montreal has done a large amount of studies of culture and the senses. Known for his holistic approach he focuses on multisensory experiences. He holds two degrees in law and three degrees in anthropology. His research interests traverse the fields of law, commerce, consumption, medicine, psychology, the senses and aesthetics. In 2014 he published Ways of Sensing: Understanding the Senses in Society co-authored with Constance Classen.

Mark Schatzker

Food journalist and author of the book “The Dorito Effect”, Mark Schatzker gives food for thought to the reasons behind public health crises. He claims that a divide between flavour and the underlying nutrition is leading people astray.

Flavour is manipulated out of natural food and instead chemically produced food products without sufficient nutrition are being stuffed with the tastes we crave. His book was on the Toronto Star Top 5 non-fictional book, Top 25 Books of 2015 and National Post Top 99 books of 2015. 

Session 3 - Landscapes and Learning - Lone Wiggers, Amy Trubek and Paul Rozin

Lone Wiggers

How taste is influenced by the surrounding architecture. (From Wikipedia: Wiggers studied architecture at the Aarhus School of Architecture and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. After a year in London working with the Project Design Partnership (1989), she returned to Copenhagen where she joined Anna Maria Indrio (1990) before joining C. F. Møller Architects where she became a partner in 1997.

Wiggers has participated in a wide range of projects including residential housing, commercial buildings, schools, old people's homes, hospitals and museums. They cover both new constructions and the conversion and restoration of older buildings. She has served on many boards and committees, heading the architecture committee for the Danish Ministry of Culture's cultural canon and participating in the Special Building Survey Council for the Cultural Heritage Board since 2003.

Amy Trubek

Amy Trubek is the Faculty Director for the Food Systems Graduate Program and an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont. She teaches courses in the contemporary food system, food and culture, qualitative research methods, and food history. Her research interests include the history of the culinary profession, globalization of the food supply, the relationship between taste and place, and cooking as a cultural practice. She has written the book: The Taste of Place: A Cultural Journey into Terroir (2009).

Paul Rozin

Paul Rozin is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.  He holds a PhD in both biology and psychology from Harvard University.  He is interested in how our biology and culture jointly determine human beliefs and attitudes about food.  Recent research includes understanding why most people prefer natural to processed foods, how the sequence of foods in a meal determines the pleasure of memories for a meal, the role of disgust and other negative experience (e.g., mouth burning sensations) come to enhance the eating experiences, how one can maximize the pleasure and minimize the worry associated with eating through cross- cultural comparisons, particularly between France and the United States, the social and moral meanings of food in a cultural context, and ambivalent attitudes to consumption of animal products.

Paul Rozin has over 300 publications, was formerly an editor of the journal Appetite, and has been awarded the Distinguished Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association and the French Food Spirit Award. 

Session 4 - Substance and Sociality - Thorsten Schmidt, Carole Counihan and Ole Mouritsen

Ole G. Mouritsen

Professor of biophysics at the University of Southern Denmark and head of ‘Smag for Livet’ Ole G. Mouritsen uses his research in biophysics to explain the science behind taste.

He is author of various books about taste, texture and umami. In 2016 Mouritsen was awarded the DuPont Nutrition & Health Science Medal for Excellence in Food Science.

Carole Counihan

As a food anthropologist, Carole Counihan combines the themes of gender, family, symbolism and activism with food habits. She is the author of the book “Around the Tuscan Table” where she uses examples of food practices to give a portrait of the changing ways of modern life in Florence, Italy.

Counihan has also done research on how gender plays a role in food activist projects such as Slow Food Italy. She has co-edited the reader Food Culture, and the book on food activism: Taking Food Public. Together with Susanne Højlund she is working with a new book: Making Taste Public. She is the chief editor of the journal Food and Foodways.

Thorsten Schmidt

Thorsten Schmidt is a rebellious chef whose kitchen is always experimental and unpredictable. His curiosity and innovative thinking means he continuously breaks the rules of what is possible -and that his creative cuisine speaks to all the senses.

Thorsten is dubbed the Nordic Alchemist. Because he is eager to explore, develop and challenge the Nordic Kitchen. His philosophy is rooted in regional and sustainable ingredients that inspire to create memorable moments and evoke strong emotions with the recipient. It's all about new discoveries and Thorsten is a modern explorer.